Goodwill Tour 2013

giving back

Broken Down in Albuquerque

M here, on the way back East from an extended stay in Sacramento, CA. We had a nice drive through Yosemite, Pasadena, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon — wow to all of them! My wife flew home from Phoenix, and the dogs and I are heading East, today’s destination, Albuquerque.

I rebelled against the GPS and took Rte 87 instead of I-17, and the extra hour or so of two-lane roads so rewarded by amazing views, a  super nice trio at some auto parts store along the way who guided us towards some grass and a lake where we might have seen some Bald Eagles on a luckier day. So amazing to take in 100+ miles and pass 2-3 cars amidst Nature’s glory. Further northeast, along I-40, I just had to double take at the “Petrified Forest” sign, hit a ubie and drove another 18 miles of desolate road to see ancient firewood. And, wow, please do yourself the favor and keep this park on your life list — so cool the trees and so gorgeous the land that sustained and preserved them.

So the scheduled 6hr trip to Albuquerque turned into 8 or 9, but the dogs did great, and every little stop and non-highway step was worth the extra drive.

Here in Albuquerque it’s rather amusing: our hotel is UFC central — as in Ultimate Fighting Championship. Thye’ve a fight this weekend, and the warriors, trainers and assorted groupies are about. A good number of them are fans of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: quite something to engage a conversation about toy spaniels with a man whose biceps are thicker than my neck and who could snap my spine with a quick kick. “Great dogs!” I have heard all night. “Yes sir, and good hunting dogs, too,” I reply.

One of our walks to the hotel green space was interrupted by a young couple and child, a boy, say 10 or 12, who hardly looked up from his cell phone games, who asked for some help. They boy’s self-distraction was palpable. The parent’s worry, too. The story: on their way back to Lakeland, CO from visiting a great-grandmother somewhere sout of here, the car broke down, and it’s 10 pm and they can’t afford to fix it much less stay in a local Motel 6, until payday Monday. “I’ll see if I have something upstairs,” I said.

I asked the desk clerk if they were habitual around here, and she said they had only asked for water and had never seen them before. I had sixty dollars and change left in my wallet, so gave them the three twenties and will keep the change for my waiter in the morning.

They’re not the first to break down, broken in machine and wallet. I’ve been there, and others, too. It’s never fun. I do wish them well, and I hope a meager sixty bucks helps a bit. The mom seemed thrilled by the help. Maybe they’ll check in here and let us know what happens.

Safe travels, Albuquerque broken-downs, and good luck. Your boy looks like a great kid, and don’t ever be shy about letting him know what you’ve been through and why.

– M

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One comment on “Broken Down in Albuquerque

  1. M
    June 6, 2014

    Funny, today I finally bought some reflectors to setup behind the truck in case we break down. Sorry for this family’s $400 water pump. Glad they’re safe.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2014 by in People we met.

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